Drug Addiction & Substance Abuse Signs & Symptoms

Addiction, which is clinically referred to as a substance use disorder, is a mental health disorder characterized by behaviors that include chronic use of drugs or alcohol that persist­ despite the negative consequences of this repeated use.

The longer someone uses a substance, the more likely it is that they will develop a dependency on that substance. An addiction can impact many aspects of a person’s life and, if left untreated, pose serious risks and health complications. But with proper care, an individual can learn how to manage addiction symptoms, lower their risk for experiencing negative effects of addiction, and build a solid foundation for lasting recovery.

At Southstone Recovery Center, we offer a partial hospitalization program (PHP) for women age 18 and older who are struggling with addictions to alcohol, cocaine, opioids, and other substances.

Signs & Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction presents itself in a number of ways, and symptoms vary depending on the substance that is being abused. Common signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Prolonged use of a substance
  • Intense cravings for a substance
  • Impaired judgment
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Damaged relationships
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Social isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme or frequent mood changes
  • Rapid or slowed speech
  • Financial difficulties
  • Engaging in reckless behaviors
  • Neglecting work, school, or social obligations
  • Experiencing withdrawal when not using a substance

Common Causes & Risks of Addiction

There is no single cause of addiction. Rather, it is widely believed that a combination of factors can lead someone to abuse drugs or alcohol. Potential causes of and risk factors for addiction include:

  • Suffering from abuse or neglect
  • Suffering from a preexisting mental health condition
  • Having poor stress management skills
  • Living in an area where substances are easily accessible
  • Having a family history of addiction or other mental health disorders
  • Experiencing one or more traumatic events
  • Being exposed to crime or violence
  • Having a low self-esteem


A substance use disorder can cause serious damage to a person’s mental health. It can also diminish their quality of life and wreak havoc on their body.

Potential effects of addiction for women include:

  • Decline in overall physical and mental health
  • Malnutrition
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Legal troubles
  • Financial problems
  • Separation or divorce
  • Development of another mental health condition
  • Damaged relationships with friends, family members, and partners
  • Contraction of viruses such as hepatitis or HIV
  • Heart and lung damage
  • Suicidal ideation or suicide attempts
  • Accidental overdose, injury, or death

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment

With appropriate care, you can regain control of your life, adopt healthy coping mechanisms, and learn how to enjoy life again without using substances.

During your stay at Southstone Recovery Center, you will work closely with a team of addiction specialists and other healthcare professionals who will help you understand your diagnosis and triggers so that you can avoid relapse and learn the skills necessary to achieve recovery.

You will also have the opportunity to meet with others who have similar experiences with a substance use disorder. Connecting with others can act as a means of support as you navigate your own recovery journey.

Therapies Used to Treat Addiction

Southstone Recovery Center offers partial hospitalization programming for women age 18 and older who are suffering from symptoms of an addiction.

Addiction affects everyone differently. Our team will develop a care plan that is best suited to meet your needs and help you achieve your recovery goals.

To do this, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your medical history, treatment history, past and current substance use, and goals for treatment in our PHP. Based on this information, we will tailor your treatment plan to meet your unique needs using a variety of services. These may include:

  • Basic medical care
  • Medication management services
  • One-on-one counseling sessions
  • Family and group therapy sessions
  • Experiential therapies

During treatment, you will get to participate in group therapy. Topics covered in group therapy sessions include:

  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Cravings, triggers, and avoiding relapse
  • Addiction and loss
  • Planning for sobriety
  • Stress and emotional well-being
  • Problem-solving
  • Anger and communication

Addiction treatment at Southstone Recovery Center may also incorporate various therapies depending on your specific needs. These can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT-informed therapy, recreational therapy, redecision therapy, and 12-Step programming.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Center

Making the choice to get professional help at an addiction treatment center is a brave — and important — first step toward achieving lasting sobriety.

Finding the right addiction treatment place for you can be an overwhelming task. But when you choose our addiction treatment center, you can receive round-the-clock care and support from a compassionate team of addiction specialists, a medical team, and behavioral health experts, all of whom can help you build a solid foundation for recovery from a substance use disorder.

Our PHP is designed specifically for women who are struggling with addiction. By receiving care in a gender-specific setting, women may feel more comfortable engaging in the therapeutic process.

When you choose Southstone Recovery Center, you can get on the path to recovery from an addiction and rediscover the beauty of life.

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Southstone Recovery Center.

Addiction Signs and Symptoms